Can I do sabre fencing?
Q: What is sabre?
A: It’s a game played with swords. Sabre fencing is one of the three fencing disciplines, based on Western sword-fighting techniques. At least that’s the theory. The sabre is a light cutting weapon modelled on the straight cavalry sabres of the early 20th century, and the ones we play with are basically that except also blunt and bendy, which allows you to hit people and still be friends with them afterwards.
Q: Is there an age limit?
A: We are happy to take anyone aged 8 and up for our classes. We will consider taking children under 8 on a case-by-case basis.
There is no upper age limit, and many fencers continue to compete into their 70s and beyond.
Q: Is sabre dangerous?
A: Sabre fencing is fairly safe as sports go, and most of the danger is not sword-related and is more the kinds of things that can go wrong any time you’re moving around. We use protective clothing to prevent injuries caused by the weapons. Unlike other combat sports, there is very little risk of head injuries or concussions. We’re not going to lie, though, you will probably get some bruises.
As with any physical activity, there are is always some risk of joint injuries or falls, but this can be reduced by good technique and careful warming up.
If you have any particular concerns relating to a pre-existing medical condition or injury, please contact us for more information.
Learning fencing at Sydney Sabre
Q: I’ve never done any fencing before and would like to try sabre. What should I do?
A: Contact us and make a booking for an introductory session. This is a 90 minute group session with one of our instructors to give you a taste of the sport so you can decide if you want to pursue further training with group classes or private lessons.
Q: What should I wear?
A: You should wear comfortable athletic clothing and footwear. Sabre is quite an intense exercise and you’ll be running around a lot, so wear something lightweight that you can move easily in. Singlets, T-shirts, leggings, trackpants and shorts are all fine. We’d advise against jeans and long-sleeve tops, as you’ll get very hot. Shoes need to stay on well and have good grip.
Q: What do I need to bring to my class?
A: It’s not a bad idea to bring a towel and a water bottle, as well as a change of clothes. All your sabre equipment will be provided. If you have any fencing gear of your own, feel free to bring it with you.
Q: I tried fencing once years ago, and would like to try sabre at Sydney Sabre. What should I do?
A: Lots of people have tried fencing once or twice at school, at uni, or at a camp. We strongly recommend that you start with an intro class if you haven’t fenced sabre with electronic scoring after 2004.
Q: I did fencing a while back, but I’m really rusty and don’t have any equipment. What should I do?
A: You have a couple of options. You can sign up for group classes or book a private lesson to start brushing up your skills. Alternatively, hire some equipment and fence some bouts to see if you’ve still got it. We don’t place any restrictions on bouting at Sydney Sabre and everyone is welcome.
Q: I’m thinking of buying my own equipment. How much does it cost?
A: Check out our handy guide to equipment buying right here!
Q: What’s your cancellation policy?
If you can’t make a class or lesson at the scheduled time, please let us know as soon as possible and we will do our best to fit you in at another date. If you can’t make any scheduled class times, we can arrange private lesson instead (a fee will apply).
If you are booked for a private lesson, we ask you give us at least 24 hours notice if you need to cancel so we can offer the spot to someone else, otherwise we will charge for the lesson.
About Sydney Sabre
Q: What is Sydney Sabre?
A: We’re a private fencing club. We specialise in sabre. We teach people to fence sabre recreationally. Occasionally we train people to wreak havoc on the competition circuit, but that is a long and difficult journey; come chat to us.
Q: How do I fence at Sydney Sabre?
A: If you want to come and fence, please contact us. The guest fee for bouting is $10 per session, but we ask that you provide your own equipment. If you’re visiting from elsewhere and don’t have gear with you, let us know and we’ll make arrangements.
Q: Is Sydney Sabre associated with a fencing club or affiliated with the NSW Fencing Association (NSWFA)?
A: Sydney Sabre is also affiliated with NSWFA as a club, which means our fencers can compete at state and national events as part of the Australian Fencing Federation. We sponsor a few small clubs in our geographic area, mostly not-for-profits attached to universities and schools.
Q: Do I need to be a member of NSWFA to fence at Sydney Sabre?
A: No. You do not need to be a member of NSWFA or any other organisation to fence at Sydney Sabre or enter our competitions.
Q: What insurance does Sydney Sabre hold?
A: Sydney Sabre holds an independent sport-specific $20 million public liability policy.
Q: I’m an athlete with an existing relationship with a coach. Can I get lessons from my coach at Sydney Sabre?
A: Typically, no. We have limited space which is reserved for our customers and instructors. We can make exceptions for interstate or international visitors who are in Sydney for a short time for competitions.
Q: How do I train at Sydney Sabre? Can I just show up?
A: If you’ve never fenced before, please make a booking for an introductory session. This is a one-hour group session with one of our instructors to give you a taste of the sport.
If you’ve done a little bit of fencing before or have completed the intro class, Sydney Sabre offers a structured group class or private lesson program. Please see our classes page for details.
If you’re an existing sabre fencer and you just want to come and fence, please get in touch.
All bookings can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 0421 460 713.
Q: I’m a fencer who does foil or epee. Can I train at Sydney Sabre?
A: No. We’re sabre specialists.
Q: Can I start with sabre? I’ve never done fencing before, but I’ve heard that you have to start with foil.
A: Yes, you can start with sabre. At Sydney Sabre, we feel that the emphasis on foil as a mandatory introduction to fencing is no longer necessary. The three weapon disciplines have diverged over time to the point where learning one is not good preparation for the other two.
We have been involved in introducing beginners to the sport for many years, and have found that most people find sabre to be more exciting, more fun, and easier to learn.